BlackBerry stock slips after PlayBook unveiling

RIM stock sank as much as 4.4 percent at one time during the day to close at $48.40 - down 2.6 percent.  The PlayBook tablet, unveiled Monday, is a bid by the Waterloo-based Canadian company to stay as the top provider of mobile devices for business people.

Though RIM has posted better than expected quarterly results on the back of its Torch 9800 smart phone unveiled in August, its stock has not stopped its downward march.  
It has sunk more than 20 percent this year alone. At its height in June 2008 just before the global meltdown began, RIM shares traded at more than $150.

Since the BlackBerry is fast losing its dominant position in the smart phone market in North America to Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices, RIM has gone on the offensive since August by unleashing the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and now the PlayBook.

Since the BlackBerry tablet will be available in North America only early next year - exactly one year after Apple's iPad - analysts say the late availability of the PlayBook will not help RIM's fortunes much as Dell, Cisco and Samsung are also ready to cram the market with their tablets.

They say the company should have made the device available by the Christmas shopping season. Any technological breakthrough by its opponents during the interim could soon overtake the PlayBook, the analysts add. By unveiling the PlayBook months in advance before it hits the market, the BlackBerry maker may have ticked off its competition to go for even higher-end tablets, they fear.

Even as RIM stock slipped, the Toronto stock market (TSX) closed higher Tuesday on gold shares pushed up by the US data showing deteriorating consumer confidence in the recovery. The TSX composite index rose 88.28 points to close at 12,278.88, with energy, metal and financial stocks slightly up.

The world's biggest energy and mining market is slowing inching towards its historic high of more than 15,000 points reached in June 2008. However, its recovery remains fragile because of the continuing US crisis.

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